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Forestry staff helps family forests recover from storms
01/25/2008
ODF stewardship foresters assist landowners throughout Oregon
Contact: Kevin Weeks, 503-945-7427
 
Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) staff members continue to provide assistance to landowners in Clatsop and Tillamook counties who were affected by the high winds sustained in the December 2007 storms.
 
There’s no question that family forestlands in northern Oregon felt the impact from December’s storms. Small woodland owners reported almost 2,000 acres of damage – roughly 28 million board feet – in Clatsop and Tillamook County. Over 17,000 acres of forests (including public lands and industrial timber ownership) in those two counties received damage.
 
ODF stewardship foresters are available to contact landowners with questions about what to do with downed trees. The forester’s role is to provide landowners with information and education about forestry issues, including tree assessment, providing lists of local loggers or arborists, and protection of resources through education about the Oregon Forest Practices Act.
 
ODF stewardship foresters offer these guidelines to help landowners decide what to do with downed trees:
 
  • If a landowner has only a few trees, then hiring an arborist or lawn care service may be the best option; cutting downed trees for personal use as firewood is another option. Harvest for firewood or other personal use does not require notification to ODF. Reforestation is not required in yard and garden areas around homes. A list of local arborists and tree care service companies are available from local ODF offices.
  • If you intend to sell firewood commercially, then a Notification of Operation form (available from any ODF office) is required.
  • If you have enough timber blown down or leaning to make marketable logs, then hiring a logger may be the better option. ODF offices have lists of local logging operators that normally work on smaller operations. Since this operation is a commercial harvest, it does require the landowner or logging operator to submit a Notification of Operation form to ODF. A stewardship forester will contact either the landowner or contractor for an on-site pre-operation meeting.
 
ODF stewardship foresters can talk to landowners and help them determine which outcome is going to be the best fit, but ODF does not get involved with contracts or the financial side of a private landowner’s timber harvest. ODF does recommend that landowners ask for and check references supplied by a logging operator and have a written contract agreed upon, including site-specific clean-up work and debris disposal, prior to the start of the operation.
 
Reforestation will be required if the harvest area meets minimum thresholds that are defined in the Oregon Forest Practices Act. The ODF stewardship forester assisting a landowner will inform them when reforestation is required. Reforestation is the landowner’s responsibility, and information about tree seedling sources is available from ODF.
 
On the business side of things, ODF recommends landowners assess how timber blow-down has affected their resource investment. Private-sector consulting foresters can provide landowners with services such as estimating the amount of merchantable timber, finding a harvest operator, marketing the timber to a mill customer, and site clean-up. ODF district offices can provide a list of local consulting foresters.
 
The financial impact of downed timber may not be just in damage or loss of market value – consider if the loss of marketable timber will create taxable income, deductions or a revision of property tax status on specially assessed forestlands.
 
For additional help with financial questions:
  • Contact your County Assessor’s office for property tax or tax deferral questions.
  • Contact the Oregon Department of Revenue at www.oregon.gov/DOR or 800-356-4222, for questions regarding timber tax programs.
  • Consult a trusted financial advisor about potential deductibility of timber loss.
 
For more information or to schedule a visit with a stewardship forester, please contact the ODF district office for your area:
 
Astoria - 503-325-5451
Columbia City – 503-397-2636
Forest Grove – 503-357-2191
Tillamook – 503-842-2545
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry provides services to ensure balanced management of Oregon's forest resources. Additional program information is available on ODF’s website at www.oregon.gov/ODF.
 
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